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  • The UK's leading law firm for school to academy conversions

  • School to Academy is a division of BHW Solicitors and has an unrivalled track record of providing the best legal and strategic advice to the education sector for school to academy conversions.
  • Chambers and Partners UK leading firm 2012

School to Academy Conversions



Our School to Academy Service

We can advise you on all the different conversion models including Umbrella Trusts, Multi Academy Trusts and standalone conversions. Where you decide to convert under a collaborative model (i.e. as part of an Umbrella Trust or Multi Academy Trust) we will advise on the best structure to allow the member academies to work together. We offer pragmatic advice on how to protect each member’s individual interests while achieving a sufficient level of collaboration.

In respect of the process itself, we will also negotiate, draft and agree the following documentation with the Department for Education and the Local Authority: –

  • Articles of Association and Memorandum (the ‘rules’ of how the Academy will operate and be administered).
  • Funding Agreement (regulating the funding coming into the Academy and how it is used).
  • Commercial Transfer Agreement (the document which transfers the old school’s assets, staff and contracts to the new Academy.
  • Lease for land which the school sits on.

If your school receives additional income from ‘extended services’ (whether substantial or not) we can advise and assist on setting up a corporate structure to limit liability and to meet any criteria imposed by the Department for Education.

As part of our service we will also incorporate your school as a company and deal with all other company governance and constitution matters including ensuring compliance in respect of the make-up of the governing body.

Project Management

As an integral part of our School to Academy service, we will project manage your conversion to pull all the different elements together to achieve a smooth conversion. We have our own internal Academy Management System to ensure deadlines are met and time is used effectively. We will also liaise with the Local Authority and the Department for Education on your behalf so you can concentrate on running the school.

We are experts in the complex legal discipline of  School to Academy Conversions. We have developed a team of people with detailed knowledge and experience of this specialist and multi-disciplined subject.


While many elements of the school to academy conversion process are similar for each converting school, no two schools are the same and the process must be handled differently for each school. We pride ourselves in getting to know each school’s learning ethos, priorities and values and making sure the work we do enhances rather than diminishes those values.


We understand the daily pressures on Head Teachers, Governors and Business Managers alike and how school to academy conversion can substantially add to demands on your time. We also understand that the process is more than a legal one. There are insurance, accounting, procurement and consultation requirements that need to be dealt with and we help with all of these as part of our service.

Competitive fixed fees

We offer competitive fixed fees to provide you with a best value solution and to help you plan your first academy budget with the certainty you need.

School to Academy

School to Academy
BHW Solicitors
5 Grove Court
Grove Park
Leicester LE19 1SA
Tel: +44 (0)116 289 7000
Fax: +44 (0)116 281 6229